Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting, Day 2

Aloha friends,

Day 2 at the RNC Winter Meeting, New Orleans.  Hard to keep these short and fast, lots happening.

I was with many of these RNC leaders just a couple months ago.  The different RNC regions around the nation had leadership conferences during 2011.  Most RNC leadership and Western Region committee members attended the Western Region Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.  I emailed you reports in October about that conference which began with a Presidential debate.  This meeting is a business meeting for the RNC so the tenor and activities are different than the Las Vegas Conference activities.

RNC Co-chair Sharon Day handles much of the internal operation of the RNC but she has a focus on the women’s vote and grassroots operations.  She is the Florida National Committee Woman and is closely in touch with the presidential campaigns in Florida.  For the primary and in the general election, Florida will again play an important role.  She is particularly pained that her state is in the middle of the delegate penalty discussion.  After all the work and coordination the past four years, Republicans began the nomination process (with the Iowa Caucus) essentially as early as the 2008 cycle.  There is enough dismay with states jumping early, potentially to begin the nomination process the year before a national convention, that several members mentioned proposing even stiffer penalties for 2016.  (Other members are suggesting no penalties).  Today, much of Day’s attention was on the minority outreach program at the end of the day.

Buzz – RNC Winter Meeting, Day 1

Aloha Friends,

Julie and I are at the RNC Winter Meeting in New Orleans.  I provided a report to you following the RNC Summer Meeting but, acknowledging the pace of an election year, I’ll send brief daily ‘Buzz’ reports – an overview of the meeting and the major topics of discussion – in committee or in the side rooms.

Today, was filled with committee and sub-committee meetings.  There are 172 listed attendees.  We’ll know officially how many of the RNC members are here when the business sessions begins.  The HRP decided to forego an appointment to fill our vacant National Committee Man position so we have two of three voting members present, National Committee Woman Miriam Hellreich and Chair David Chang.  There are also about 70 guests plus state staffers, representatives from national committees and organization and the media – print, on-line, bloggers and television.

The Rules Cmte, Budget Cmte, Redistricting Cmte, and Cmte on Contests met in sometimes overlapping sessions.  State chairs had a session together.  The focus is on business to be conducted during this meeting – proposed changes to RNC Rules, cmte presentations, a budget update – but the side talk is about the Presidential election.  The Rules cmte will propose a change from two to three business meetings/year.

The cmte on contests is the cmte that determines sanctions and penalties for states who went early and they arbitrate delegate credential issues at convention time.  Consensus in the RNC is that Rules are rules and Republicans follow rules so penalties for states that hold primaries and caucuses before the allowed date have to be enforced.  However, no one wants to see delegates disqualified from participating and one of the states that went early is the site of the National Convention…….Florida.  Florida RNC members discussed how they tried to get the Republican legislators to stop the effort to move Florida earlier in the delegate process but they were unable to do so.

RNC Chair Reince Priebus is everywhere.  I have documented my delight with his RNC leadership.  The RNC is functioning as a team.  Fundraising is exceeding expectations and the RNC budget has to be continuously updated to reflect the success.  Donors have a renewed trust in the RNC.  The RNC is the only committee that can directly coordinate campaigns with our Presidential nominee.  Successful fundraising translates directly to a robust Get Out The Vote (GOTV) ground game.  Each time the Budget cmte met this year, the cmte adjusted figures to account for the accelerated pace of Priebus’ fundraising.  RNC debt (down from $24M) is now less than COH!  Chang faces a similar situation with increasing HRP debt while also preparing for an election.

We had two meetings of the Conservative Caucus.  The caucus met early this morning to discuss proposed rules changes, most are now housekeeping suggestions.  At the end of the day, the Conservative Steering Cmte met and received an intriguing, somewhat shocking, update on border security.  The abuse of our southern border is worse than you can imagine.

At the Summer meeting, Romney was the only campaign with a presence – staffers providing a detailed update of the organization, media plan and fifty state plan.  I met with his political director, a campaigning friend for a number of years, to hear of Romney’s national political strategy.  After the squeaker in Iowa and the win in NH, apparently, his plan is working.  Today, campaign surrogates are around (though, mostly Romney), gauging the support of RNC members.  With their caucus and primary complete, the Iowa and New Hampshire RNC members get surrounded everywhere they go. South Carolina RNC members are never left alone.  While most of the talk and action is about Romney and Gingrich, Paul is in every discussion.

Last night, more than 100 members and guests got together for an informal pre-meeting dinner organized by a couple RNC members.  When we started these side-outings a couple years ago, we had about 30 members.  Tonight is a welcome reception for all members and guests.  Superstar Gov Bobby Jindal is the keynote speaker.  After the reception, dinner with friends (Counsel and a couple southern states).

It was a balmy 60 degrees today and tonight will drop to 40 degrees.  It is hard to not have fun in New Orleans even if we’re spending all day in the hotel conference rooms.

More buzz, tomorrow.

 

Willes

The Holidays, Caucuses and Candidates

Aloha friends.  In politics, there is nothing like the holiday season with only 30 days to the Iowa caucus and 336 until the General election.  I write to Hawaii Republicans and conservatives to initiate discussion and to fill a void in the Republican discussion.  I prefer to email rather than blog in public.  I encourage others to email or blog to discuss and debate issues, policy and candidates.  We won’t always agree but we should be as informed as possible to decide for ourselves.  Feel free to forward this email.  Let friends, who fear they are the only Republican or conservative in Hawaii, know there are others.  So much occurs between four-to-six week reports, it’s hard to capture everything but there is something for everyone.  My previous three reports are listed at the bottom.

There is a lot of positive action occurring in the HRP.  Fukumoto had a seamless chair transition with Chang.  When the State Cmte elected Chang to finish the current term, it also elected Schaedel as party secretary.  Shortly after the State Cmte meeting, Rodriguez resigned as Honolulu County.  I hope Rodriguez (and his team) finds a candidate he can support with his energy and undeniable passion.  Honolulu county installed East-Oahu vice chair Vaillancourt to finish the county chair term.  With 11 months to go to the general election, it is time for unity and cooperation.

12 Months To Go, Seems Like Tomorrow.

Many of you received my reports from the Leadership Conference.  It was valuable learning which offset the expense, however, the on-site reporting was too time-consuming at the expense of networking (and sleep).

It seems like tomorrow with 64 days until the Iowa caucus and only 370 days until the General Election.  I write to conservatives and Hawaii Republicans, to initiate discussion and to fill a void in the Republican discussion.  Not a (public) blog, these reports are the only HRP news many members receive.  I encourage others to write, discuss and debate issues, policy and candidates.  We don’t have to always agree but we should be as informed as possible and decide for ourselves.  Feel free to forward this email.  Let friends, who think they are the only Republican or conservative in Hawaii, know there are others.  So much occurs between four-to-six week reports, it’s hard to capture everything but there is something for everyone.  Previous three reports are listed at the bottom.

As I departed to the conference, I was reminded that ‘normal’ people are too busy to think about politics.  Republican friends of mine were not aware that HRP chair Kaauwai resigned and Fukumoto took over.  The synopsis:  citing HRP leadership issues, a majority of the Exec Cmte, with the backing of all Republican state house members, Rep Djou and Gov Lingle, sent an email to the State Cmte calling a meeting to vote Kaauwai out of office.  After some drama and vote counting, Kaauwai, who may have kept his position if it had gone to a State Cmte vote, stepped aside citing the welfare of the Party.  Fukumoto, in the senior vice chair position, took over in the interim.

WRLC, Day 3

Final of three reports from the Western Region Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.  No one who is still attending the sessions and speeches appears tired or ready to go home.

The conference is under the auspices of the RNC but is a separate organization.  I last attended the conference several years ago in San Diego hosted by the California Republican Party.  This year, the Nevada Republican Party helped host the conference.  This is not an annual conference but when we have one, it’s good.

Most of the speakers have been governors or legislators from the west.  After a lot of coffee, the morning opened on a down note.  Nothing worse than a last minute cancellation on the first session of the day by Presidential candidate Rep Michelle Bachmann.  I was hoping to capitalize on her energy.  The upside is that it gave time to get another cup of coffee.  All the Hawaii attendees were in their seats because, ……

Leadership Conference, Day 2

Second of my reports from the Western Region Leadership Conference in Las Vegas.  It is hard to pack more into a day than the organizers did yesterday but they tried.  The myriad speakers, information and training sessions allow attendees to hear and learn a lot.  The downside is that there is no way to attend everything because some of the events overlap or continue when you’re in line for coffee or looking for lunch.

You can imagine that the Republicans and conservatives who take the time and save to afford this expense are here because they are very politically involved (or they have to be by position or responsibilities).  I am certain if more from Hawaii could afford the expense and time away, more would make the trip.  It is fun.  It is always nice to be around politically like-minded people and everyone from the mainland has a Hawaii story to tell (or wants to have one).  I encourage each of them to visit and spend money on whichever is their favorite island.  It is also interesting to hear so many state and county party situations similar to ours.  For some, the politicking never actually ends – they just had the special election here in NV (and in NY), and VA, LA, MS and NJ have off-year state elections this month and next.

Western Republican Leadership Conference, Day 1

Aloha from Las Vegas and the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC),

I’ll send daily comments about the activities, people and politics.  It will give you an idea of what occurs at these conferences to encourage you to make the next one.  If you are not interested, you can let me know but I won’t have time to take you off the address list so instead you can simply delete the next two WRLC reports.

I am told that at least 15 people from Hawaii registered though I haven’t seen that many, yet.  Depending on the information flow and the organizations represented, you may receive reports from our members who are here.  There are also some here, I’ll mention later, who have long and strong ties with HRP.

There is the normal hustle and bustle of Las Vegas and the Venetian but once away from that crowd, there are about 800 registered for the conference.  Not all attend each event as you’ll see below.

Back To School Report, Part II

Part I went to you on Wednesday discussing HRP finances and party leadership.  This is Back to School Report, Part II.  I am writing to conservatives and Hawaii Republicans to inform, initiate discussion and provide a perspective we don’t get from HRP.  Not a (public) blog, these reports are the only HRP news many members receive.  I encourage others to write, discuss and debate issues, policy and candidates.  We don’t have to always agree but we should be as informed as possible and decide for ourselves.  Feel free to forward this email, discussion is good.  Previous reports are listed at the bottom.

Throughout these reports there are myriad campaign tips and suggestions.  This report is no different.

Background:  HRP conducts annual district (and precinct) caucus meetings.  By party rules, the meetings must be held during the period of the last week of Jan through the first week of Feb.  At these meetings we elect delegates to our county and state convention and a rep to the Resolutions or Rules committee (alternating years).  Each Presidential election year, these delegates (during the May state convention) also elect our state delegates to the national convention and elect our state National Committee Man and National Committee Woman.  Members of HRP or anyone joining the party ten days prior to the caucus meeting are eligible to participate in the district caucus.

Back To School Report, Part I

Traffic is heavy, we’re back to school.  As of September 7, there are 152 days until the Iowa Caucus* with only 426 days until the General Election.  Some readers argued that I should not have picked out good news to report in my last account (“This is a mid-year update and there is a lot of good news.”) in order to focus on issues which need resolving.  Agree or not with the analysis, for many conservatives and Republicans, these reports are the only HRP news they receive.  Reporting in this format since before the 2010 primary elections, I used a different format for my RNC Summer Meeting report because of my different role and that account went to more than Hawaii readers.  I encourage others to write, discuss and debate issues, policy and candidates.  Ask questions, get involved.  We don’t have to always agree but we should be as informed as possible and decide for ourselves.  Feel free to forward this email, discussion is good.  Previous reports are listed at the bottom.

Hawaii Republicans had an interesting summer, though lackluster for HRP.  We’ll go to a little depth on a few topics and add a couple bullet topics.  Throughout these reports there are myriad campaign tips and suggestions.  This report is no different.